A commission has found that the COVID-19 pandemic and its related policies caused economic damages of $18 trillion. The analysis comes a few years after lockdown policies and other measures damaged businesses as the virus spread through the United States. The commission also listed several recommendations to hold China accountable for the pandemic.

According to a report from the Heritage Foundation’s Nonpartisan Commission on China and COVID-19 viewed by Fox Business, the commission found that the pandemic’s total cost added up to around $18 trillion.

The number represents over $8.6 trillion due to excess deaths, over $1.825 trillion income lost; $6 trillion from chronic conditions from “long COVID”, as well as mental health loss at about $1 trillion. This is in addition to educational losses of $435 billion, all totaling over $18 trillion in damages to the US.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacted a staggering toll on the United States, both in human lives and in economic terms. The total estimated cost of $18.007 trillion is a stark reminder of the profound impact this global health crisis has had on the nation,” the report from the commission said.

“By understanding and acknowledging these costs, we can lay the groundwork for holding accountable those whose negligence or overt actions exacerbated the pandemic’s severity.”

The excess deaths totaled 1,476,457 in the US from 2020 to 2022 at the height of the pandemic. According to the report, real GDP took a hit and was 2.5 percent below what it had been projected to be during that time. With regard to the origins of COVID, the commission found that it “very likely stemmed from a research-related incident in Wuhan, China.”

“Although it remains theoretically possible that COVID-19 emerged via zoonosis in the wild or spillover in a wet market (spillover is a virus originating in animals before it passes to humans), there is no evidentiary basis for either of these hypotheses despite extensive testing over four years,” the commission said.

The Heritage Foundations commission also detailed a timeline of events, showing the cover-up of the virus when it started in China around December 2019. It also reported on the mistakes that China made in its failure to keep the virus in its borders.


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